Compensate University Center Residents for Damage and Disruption Caused By Renovations

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On January 2, 2018 Schoenfelder Renovations, Inc. began work on University Center dormitories, home to students and residents of four different Chicago colleges: Columbia College Chicago, DePaul University, Roosevelt University, and Robert Morris University Illinois.

Since then, numerous complaints have been heard concerning damaged belongings and trashed rooms with little to no resolution. Not only this, but there has also been a complete and utter failure to accommodate University Center residents throughout the entirety of the renovation process. Students who committed to housing contracts for the Fall and Spring 2017-2018 term were completely unaware of these future renovation plans upon making a commitment to finance living at the University Center, and have since been forced to vacate these costly living spaces for no benefit or reimbursement while also being faced with the aforementioned damages and disturbances.


I ask that you sign this petition to speak out against student exploitation and to request a formal reimbursement of $211.17 from the University Center to each resident for the average total duration of four construction days per each unit. Additional reimbursements should also be encouraged on a case-by-case basis for all damaged belongings or stolen valuables.


If you are a University Center resident that has also been negatively affected by the renovation process, I urge you to reply to this petition detailing your own personal account including all damages, inconveniences, and any images that would help to describe the state of your personal belongings and room condition post-construction. In addition, please copy and email all criticism to UChousing@PeakCampus.com. University Center executive director Brook Lopeman of PeakCampus has stated that the renovations should be considered a success due to the low ratio of complaints to renovated units. Given that fact, it is crucial to make our voices heard now so that our dissatisfaction cannot continue to be disregarded.


View the articles below written by multiple universities covering the development of these continuing issues.


The Columbia Chronicle: (Columbia College Chicago)

The Torch: (Roosevelt University)

 

Here is my personal account in response to the renovation process:


3/5/2018: I receive the first notification from the University Center that renovations will be beginning in my unit in 2 weeks time (Tuesday, March 20 at 8:30am). I am not particularly thrilled with this news, given that I would only be living in the space for the next two months, and would receive no real benefit from the change in flooring and new coat of paint on the walls. I had already been faced with noise disturbance such as loud drilling and yelling from construction workers seeping into my 9th floor apartment, and I had heard the rumors about damaged belongings and dirtied rooms.


3/19/2018: At this time I receive another email detailing that my renovations have been pushed back to begin in 1 week (Tuesday, March 27 at 8:30am).


3/23/2018: I receive my third email. My renovation date has been pushed up to Monday, March 26. I am in San Francisco for the week of spring break. I have an overnight flight scheduled for the Sunday before renovations and very little time to accommodate for the move as it stands, and now I have been notified that I will have to do it even sooner. I can’t imagine what I would have done had my flight been cancelled or delayed, but what I do know is that I had to miss a class that Monday morning to make time to move into my temporary room at the University Center.


3/28/2018: The UC has asked me to move back into my renovated apartment with 4 hours notice on a day that I am scheduled to work until 10pm. I decide to send my complaints over email (12 days later, still no response.)


To: housing@universitycenter.com, UChousing@PeakCampus.com

I am a Columbia College Chicago student and University Center resident who works an on-campus job. Today I am scheduled to work until 10pm, and I have just received 4 hours of notice that I need to move out of my temporary apartment by 10pm tonight or face being charged with a fee. I am unable to make accommodations for this move and I feel that this is inadequate notice. It is unacceptable for me to be changed this fee for not acting in a timeframe in which I am unavailable. I have heard reports from my peers about belongings being damaged or stolen by the construction crew, and I have been woken up early on my off-days and unable to focus during homework and study for over a month to the sounds of loud drilling. The students and residents need to be compensated for the inconvenience, not threatened with charges. The University Center and Columbia College needs to provide this compensation and better accommodation given the massive inconvenience and disruption these renovations have caused to us all.


I ended up having to momentarily leave work to move back into my unit in order to avoid being charged this fee. After returning to my newly renovated apartment I find it in gross condition. The sinks, countertops, and floors are dirtied with paint stains, footprints, construction debris, and miscellaneous garbage.The University Center email notifications had specifically stated that all rooms would be cleaned and inspected after renovation completion. But this had apparently not been the case. Not to mention that my personal belongings had clearly been rummaged through and for no apparent reason, which I was able to observe by comparing before and after images I had taken of any items that I was unable to bring with me to my temporary room.


The University Center renovations HAVE NOT been a success.

Sign this petition to let University Center executive director Brooke Lopeman know.


Here is the math for the reimbursement total:

The cost of living at the University Center is $6599 per term.

That’s a total of $13,198 for the entire year.

The full term spans 250 days, from 9/4/2017 to 5/11/2018.

$13,198 / 250 days = $52.792 is the cost of living at the University Center per day.

$52.792 x 4 days (duration of renovations per unit) = $211.17 total reimbursement


If you are viewing this petition and believe that a correction is necessary, or have any additional information to include, please contact me at haley.phillips@loop.colum.edu

 


 

 

 



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